Posts Tagged ‘bitterness’

A Blog Post Involving Fred Gall And The Antichrist That Is Only Tangentially Related To Lou Metal

November 1, 2010

A decade into its existence as the leaf/animal/aeroplane-inspired offshoot to the comparatively antiseptic Workshop sect, Habitat appears to finally have embraced the chaotic, cannibalistic nature of, erm, nature itself. Beneath the wet foliage and gentle acoustic guitar strums lurks a feral beast as likely to gnaw away its own leg as hop a bump-to-bar, a theme that Midwestern DNA zookeeper Joe Castrucci has chosen to explore through the composition of the team itself.

David Lee Roth, a noted man of the earth, has famously observed that Van Halen may not have rocked so hard/loudly were it not for persistent tensions between its song and dance man and Eddie VH. Castrucci has learned this secret too and now is exploiting the idea in an effort to produce compelling skate footage and reclaim market share from rivals Element and Organika. Recall the group sigh that emerged from the Lakai camp following the “Fully Flared” premiere, or the hedonistic, RV-powered excess of Osiris’s “The Storm” tour. But post-“Origin,” from the hallows of the Habitat camp there is a primal shriek, gnashing of teeth, maybe some rending of flesh:

Austyn Gillette:
Daryl got on basically because Stefan and I don’t want to talk about that situation. No one is getting harshed to get on anymore. It’s easy nowadays.

At any point during filming, did you get so frustrated watching Silas skate that you wanted to pull a Tanya Harding?
I don’t skate with Silas. I don’t get along with him too well. He’s bitter and I’m not bitter and we don’t get along together. We really don’t work well together and we’ve both accepted it.

Kerry Getz:
I didn’t know Austin and Silas are far from being BFFs.
There’s a lot going on over there. I don’t know; that’s some West Coast stuff, man. I’m so far out of all that stuff like who is fighting with who, who hates who, who is talking about who. I just stay on my side of the campfire and shut up. I just recently heard that Austyn and Daryl don’t like each other and I never knew that. Now you’re telling me Austyn and Silas don’t like each other. Someone has issues over there; just keep me out of it. It’s high school games.

Kerry Getz attained silverback status some time ago and is entitled to grumbling rights but it’s hard not to read some brinksmanship into AG’s commentary, even post-ESPN edit — he worked hard on his two-song second-part and it shows, though this site continues to harbour reservations around general execution (someone wiser equated his aesthetic recently to Apple Computers), he can be reasonably argued as having the best section in Origin between the sidewalk-to-sidewalk frontside flip, the feather-light b/s smith grind b/s 180 and that brick-cracker ollie at the Brooklyn Banks. Then the well-telegraphed alley-oop 5050 run, which I bet Jason Dill cheered when/if he ever saw this vid.

Trimming down probably mountains of footage helped Daryl Angel’s part as this dude to me still makes tricks look so easy as to detract from their actual hardness–thinking here of stuff like the switch pole-jam-wallie and the gap to feeble grind, although you can see dangers in the humongous switch hill-bomb jump and the final handrail jammer. Also a fan of how the nollie backside 180 is moving up the ladder in terms of a power trick, with Dylan Angel launching it down a longish stair-set and Marius Syvanen taking it over a high bar — there’s some Nordic tinges of AVE to that dude’s part and he’s got a related nollie b/s tailslide in there that’s for sure praise-worthy, kind of wish he worked in more of his really effortless and almost bizarre-looking manual stuff like he had in that Canada tour clip.

Notable new guy, Mark Suciu, brings a relaxed-with-some-stink style that sorta reminded me of a young Danny Renaud. All the footage where he’s wearing the five-panel hat is pretty much golden, specifically, the Gideon Choi-slide and the backside tailslide on Pat Duffy’s kinked rail. Al Davis’s part should’ve been longer as well as Tim O’Connor, to whom you can apply that complaint for basically every appearance since Photosynthesis, Steve Durante crushes at Pulaski with no set-up time and a separate switch wallie that threatens to shut down the video right there. This is nearly the best part in the video and had it incorporated some of this footage would’ve been perhaps the best one all year.

IRS scofflaw Fred Gall leads a pretty good delivery from the old bros that includes a bluntslide on a handrail, proving that beer drinking helps you. Danny Garcia’s switch backside tailslide variants are gathering rust but he still sails mightily over a rail, Stefan Janoski indulges his taste for switch k-grinds and nollie frontside flips, Silas Baxter-Neal bounds over handicap ramps and employs a “Welcome to Hell” ender that deeper mines his no-frills brand of solid trick-landing, when he’s not wintering in Illinois or rubbing Gillette the wrong way for whatever reason. Bryan Herman cameos for the ride-out shot.

Guru Khalsa’s spaced-out quiet storm is the real ender ender though, completing one of the best-looking SSBSTS’s of this new decade and incorporating maybe the most outlandish “psychadelic” image in “Origin” by way of an uncredited appearance from Christian Slater. It took me some years but feels like I’ve fully warmed to this dude’s sometimes off-kilter, sometimes classically ’90s boarding (the big b/s 5050, vs the frontside tailslide ahead of the f/s blunt). When do you see dudes jump up on a switch 5050 like that, when do you see dudes push eleven times for a trick but still not seem in a real big hurry.

Bookending all this discord and occasional moments of quiet tranquility is archival footage that reminds of the talent that slipped away for one reason or another (Renaud, Raymond Molinar with generally impeccable trick choices) and others like Ed Selego or Mark Appleyard where you could forget they were on at all. Still not sure what the thinking was here, beyond vague celebration of Habitat’s inaugural decade-long offering — there were things said like they wanted to re-use footage to music where they could get the rights, or incorporate clips from dudes like Wenning or Pluhowski that maybe don’t rate as #habitat for the current generation, but do a couple montages do the trick, or is this a further, more glorious-er mess left for us to unravel, akin to the mysterious spaghetti squash.

Even Dwarfs Started Small

September 27, 2009

ellenpage_whipit
Sonny’s missing

I have a thing with little kid skaters, which is to say, I have a thing against them, meaning, I generally/totally can’t stand watching them. In order to demonstrate how seriously serious I am and potentially earn internet cool guy points, I’ll just say there are times when I feel kinda iffy on Guy Mariano’s Blind video part, and when it comes to somebody like Nyjah Huston or Chaz Ortiz forget about it. Whereas I am a fan of dudes like Nick Jensen and Grant Taylor post-puberty, I really wasn’t at all interested in their floppy flips and billowing T-shirts before they cracked the 60-inch barrier, and even the watchable exceptions to this rule like Jeron Wilson and Colin McKay only serve as a bitter reminder that there are 14-year-old kids out there front-blunting it up while I have to go to work, pay taxes, spend my time thinking about cures for constipation and so forth. Youch.

But these deeply personal problems of mine are basically just background for the revelation that was Yaje Popson’s section in the much-ballyhooed “Rich Mahogany” video (holder of the title for best internet promo of the year), which had me reconsidering my whole hate-first-wait-five-years-and-then-ask-questions approach to little kid skaters. Now I got this New York-centric vid a couple months ago, partly because of that promo and partly because Billy Rohan and Lurker Lou were in it, and I just naturally assumed that over time I would gravitate toward the bearded dudes’ parts because, you know, we here at B.T.O aren’t impervious to internet stereotypes the same way we are to fiery lava. But there I’d be, letting Yaje Popson’s opening part play through, the usual little-kid grumbles fading to the back of my head like so many unreturned library books and Slap messageboard passwords.

One major advantage this kid has is backside lipslides, which he can seemingly screech across most any available surface. Another is an innate ability to break down my old person defenses. Let me give an example. At one point in this video part he’s doing this line down a street and he whips out the fakie frontside noseslide shove-it, a classic mid-to-late-90s ledge trick that’s gotten all bogged down these days with fakie flips and bigspins and reality TV and shit. It’s the sorta trick I would see somebody do at a spot or a park and think to myself how the dude doing it probably had been skating a while. Yaje Popson has a lot of these type of moves, or else something about the way he does a trick like the switch backside bigspin that made me think about Rick Howard in “Questionable” instead of whoever’s doing them these days (Darrell Stanton?). Or this frontside feeble grind he does on a beefy ledge, which is awesome in all the standard ways. And, he nollie 180’s into that courthouse bank drop, which is just silly.

Of course at this point Yaje Popson’s already past the little-kid red zone, because at 17 or whatever he’s shed most of that dumpy midget style that some dudes unfortunately never overcome, no matter how tight their clothing gets. There’s a weird kind of feature on him here, but the best idea is probably to get the Green Diamond video and watch that because it’s also got loads of beards and Vans and Kyle Iles does the sickest switch noseblunt slide. There is also a Soulja Boy song and the “Bossy” instrumental. You can buy it from Unicron probably, I can’t find Quartersnacks’s ordering page anymore.

Hey, Leo Romero Also Is Back On His Bullshit

May 20, 2009


Shoot the gun

So this RVCA* promo: basically it’s what you would expect, a load of longhairs in tight pants and red shoes, banks, jangly guitars, 5-0s and so on. It’s kind of less interesting to me than the company itself, as I’ve seen honest-to-god rappers wearing RVCA hats (I think in the XXL with Rawss on the cover) which made me wonder if RVCA is maybe far deeper in terms of, you know, cultural reach than I ever suspected, or perhaps they’re just the post-Vans revival DC except a clothing company. Which probably makes zero sense at all. Regardless Nestor Judkins has some really great tricks here, if that’s him hopping up on the backside lipslide and jumping the handrail into the bank, but otherwise this is all kind of by-the-numbers.

That is til 3 minutes in when the stage clears for Leo Romero to unleash the great Baker footage firehose, or at least the stuff that’s not worth saving for the Emerica vid, logo boards be damned. The fakie frontside blunt** opener was a good one I thought, back to the “That’s Life” part where he’d occasionally throw in random difficult ledge tricks in between gliding down gaps. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen any footage in a while but in this promo Leo Romero seems like he’s skating faster and angrier and at times (such as the humpty-hump to backside 180 and the tight-spot kickflips), seemingly for the sheer “fuck” of it, which is kind of a tough thing to communicate in an age awash with so much urban creativity. This is a good section, not great unless you look at it in terms of what he’s still sitting on, namely all the uphill handrail battles which are apparently contesting Heath’s white period for “Stay Gold” bragging rights. Not sure how rare this vid is supposed to be, but worth the free admission for the long slides, flashy frontside flip and artfully selected slams — which actually work for once, following the landed tricks toward the end of the part.

*Am I supposed to write it all in serious capital letters?
**And did I get it right this time? If I had things my way this would be a fakie ollie switch backside noseblunt because it’s totally different than a frontside bluntslide and everybody’s stupid anyway.